Kei-Lin K.H. Cerf has been appointed director of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center in Honokaʻa, effective March 12, 2018.
Cerf, a long-time resident of South Kohala and current Honokaʻa resident, has a broad background in private industry, non-profits and education on Hawaiʻi Island.
Since January 2015, she has served as director of strategic community development for West Hawaiʻi in the Office of the UH Hilo Chancellor, and director of Hōkūpaʻa, a multi-institution partnership of leading educational and state government groups responsible for improving outcomes for children and youth in North and West Hawaiʻi. In her dual capacity, she has built and maintained education partnerships, organized education research, launched student social-emotional wellness and career readiness/early college pathway initiatives, and was responsible for external grant funding of $50,000–$100,000 per year.
As executive director of Hualālai ʻOhana Foundation from 2007 to 2014, Cerf led a small, dedicated team that delivered education and medical support programs to employee families at Four Seasons Hualālai and Hualālai Resort. During that period she created a non-profit/community/public school partnership with Kealakehe High School involving volunteer mentors, teachers, youth leaders and students. She also established the Kona Village Emergency Relief Fund, a nonprofit/community partnership that provided more than $350,000 in aid to over 300 displaced workers.
“Kei-Lin has a wealth of knowledge on educational pathways and creating partnerships between communities and the educational institutions that serve them,” said Ken Hon, UH Hilo interim vice chancellor of academic affairs. “I have no doubt she will be successful in developing these pathways for people in the community so higher education opportunities and training are more accessible.”
Cerf earned her doctorate of business administration in leadership from Walden University, MBA in nonprofit management from Marylhurst University and a BS in marketing management from Western Governors University.
—By Alyson Kakugawa-Leong